2545 Progress Street, Suite D, Vista
The family that brews together, stays together. OK, that’s not a real adage, so I can’t confirm if it’s true, but I can say that brothers that brew together, go pro together—at least in the case of Dave and Donny Firth, the co-founders of Vista’s new Booze Brothers Brewing Company (2545 Progress Street, Suite D, Vista). Over the course of five years homebrewing together, during which their fermentation projects filled first their garage and then their entire home, they became known to their friends as the “booze brothers.” Now, they’re giving it a go as professionals after soft opening their business on October 28.
At present, the Firths, who were born in Sweden, but have lived in Vista for the past 20 years, are working to finish construction and get a broader assortment of their beers on tap at their tasting room, which is outfitted to resemble a garage environment, but with woodsy, Old West accents added. Once complete, their facility will also include an outdoor patio, a rarity among Vista’s many breweries and something the brothers are pleased they’ll be able to provide.
The Firths are a comical pair who enjoy joking around and making jesting statements like, “We will destroy the beer market,” and “We’re fairly confident we have the absolute best beer in the world and there is no competition whatsoever.” But in all seriousness, they admit that they feel they are just now getting the hang of brewing consistent beer for sale.
As far as what they brew, like many in the emerging industry, they say they brew what they like. Typically, that means dry, hoppy beers, but their stable of early offerings includes an English pale ale made with Willamette hops, an amber ale, coffee oatmeal porter, and a double IPA brewed with experimental hops that they say tastes like citrus, tangerine and black currant with a clean bitterness.
They are also making something that’s extremely rare—an adjunct lager. The term adjunct is used to describe ingredients other than malted barley and grains which are used to produce sugars yeast can convert into alcohol. Such ingredients, such as corn and rice, are typically cheaper and less flavorful, making them favorites of macrobreweries like Anheuser-BuschInBev and MillerCoors, who are able to mass produce and sell bland, low-alcohol American adjunct lagers at prices that are significantly lower than that of craft beer offerings. Booze Brothers’ “Booze Light” will be made with rice to mirror a light Mexican beer.
The Firths are brewing on a 10-barrel brewhouse “MacGyvered” from “mostly from Craigslist and scrap yard parts.” It’s an interesting setup to say the least, but it’s what they do with the equipment—and what they set out to do with it—that will make all the difference. Booze Brothers is currently open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.